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Title: Road crossings as barriers to small-stream fish movement

Author: Warren, Melvin L. Jr.; Pardew, Mitzi G.;

Date: 1998

Source: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 127: 637-644.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The authors used mark-recapture techniques to examine the effects of four types of road crossings on fish movement during spring base flows and summer low flows in small streams of the Ouachita Mountains, west-central Arkansas. The authors assessed movement for 21 fish species in seven families through culvert, slab, open-box, and ford crossings and through natural reaches. The authors detected no seasonal or directional bias in fish movement through any crossing type or the natural reaches. Overall fish movement was an order of magnitude lower through culverts than through other crossings or natural reaches, except no movement was detected through the slab crossing. In contrast, open-box and ford crossings showed little difference from natural reaches in overall movement of fishes. Numbers of species that traversed crossings and movement within three of four dominant fish families (Centrarchidae, Cyprinidae, and Fundulidae) also were reduced at culverts relative to ford and open-box crossings and natural reaches. In spring, retention of fishes was consistently highest in stream segments upstream of crossings and lowest in downstream segments for all crossing types, a response attributed to scouring associated with spring spates. Water velocity at crossings was inversely related to fish movement; culvert crossings consistently had the highest velocities and open-box crossings had the lowest. A key requirement for improving road crossing designs for small-stream fish passage will be determination of critical levels of water velocity through crossings.

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Warren, Melvin L., Jr.; Pardew, Mitzi G. 1998. Road crossings as barriers to small-stream fish movement. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 127: 637-644.


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